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Sunday 12 March 2017

Swing away wheel carrier

For Christmas my Mum kindly paid for the swing away wheel carrier for Fender. Thank you Mum :-)

I expected to fit it before now but with all the other jobs this is when it got done.

First job is to remove the grab handle on the hinge side. I expected it to need the angle grinder but much to my surprise all four bolts undid with only a little effort.

The plates they are bolted in to can be reached from the end of the cutout in the rear cross member.

I gave the chassis a quick wire brush for now. It needs a bit more TLC at some point.

The new plates with nuts attached fit behind the chassis. My arms were just long enough to hold them in place without any help.

Just in case you don't know me. I use a lot of copper grease when putting things together. It makes the initial job take longer but future jobs are much quicker.

I selected the Mantec wheel carrier because its hinge is entirely under the rear lights. As I have doubled up on the reversing and fog lights there is no space for a higher hinge.

Where possible I am using Torx head bolts. There's no need I just prefer the look. The Mantec kit comes with normal bolts which I replaced where I could.

This carrier swings with the door and remains attached using a clever plunger arrangement. More pictures of that further on.

For the upper bracket two holes to fit 10mm bolts need to be drilled in the capping. The Mantec instructions are clear. You drill out the rivet nearest the door and then offer up the plate to mark the other hole. I made sure the hole was at the exact same level as the rivets.

I also double checked the position before centre punching. As the nuts are fixed spacing on a plate it is essential that the holes are in the right place. Obviously you can adjust using a file if the hole is not perfectly aligned.

The instructions make it clear you should only lightly nip up the bolts at this stage.

The top bolts had to be normal hex head because you need to get a spanner in to tighten them up after the hinge is in place.

This is why you need to leave the bolts a bit free. I needed to adjust things with a rubber mallet to get the second hinge pin bolt to drop through the pivot hole.

Once the hinges were in I could tighten up all the bolts.

This is where I had to deviate from the supplied instructions. For a normal door all the measurements are supplied. Fender has a side opening tailgate but I have the kit for a normal door. It was in stock, the other was not.

I had already made some spacer bars from 50mm x 25mm steel and sprayed them black to match.

Positioning the door plate as per the instructions resulted in it overlapping the top edge of the tailgate. It did not rest against the spacers I'd already made because they are not level with that edge. More awkwardly the bolt holes I would have preferred to use fell right on the edge of the upper rail!

With some offering up and luck, by flipping the plate upside down it fitted exactly under the lip.

Handy for me that the plate was not symmetrical. My guess is someone clever at Mantec designed it to fit different Land Rover models. I carefully recalculated the measurements and offered it up to the door and the now fitted hinged arm.

Once I was confident of the positions I drilled the holes in my spacer bars. I am using the 6 outer oval holes in the supplied door plate.

Checked and double checked and marked up the door with the position of the holes.

In this case I used my own bolts because I needed ones long enough to pass through the panels of the tailgate, my spacers and the supplied door mounted plate.

My drilling is not perfect and I needed a bit of wiggle room. I filed out some of the holes to ovals.

I painted Duralac Green to the backs of the steel bars where they would lie against the aluminium panel. This stuff avoids the bi-metal corrosion.

Triple checked the position with everything just resting in place before bolting down.

Getting the plunger in took a moment of thought. There is no space for my hand between the door and the carrier to pull the plunger in to position. The trick I used was to pull out the plunger then bring the door to the carrier in the open position. Close the carrier and door together and the bolt will push itself through the hole, as long as everything is aligned.

You can then gently screw the nut on the bolt without pushing the plunger back in.

The plunger stud has two flats on for a second spanner so you can tighten up the nut without the plunger spinning.

Not too tight, the rubber washer only needs to be compressed slightly. The lock nut then goes on. Luckily I have two 19mm spanners to secure the lock not.

What I hadn't thought about was needing nuts to mount the wheel on. More luck, I did manage to find some in my 'big chunks of metal spares bin.'

Easy open and close. Nicely secure and no weight on the door hinges.

The finished truck looked so good it inspired Shelley to give Fender a rare clean :-)

 Looks very nice.

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